AI’s Role in Improving Social Connection and Oral Health for Older Adults: A Synergistic Approach

X. Qi, B. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Abstract

This commentary explores the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in addressing 2 major challenges in geriatric care: oral health deterioration and social disconnection. The article presents a synergistic approach that harnesses AI to improve oral health management through innovative tools like teledentistry, intelligent toothbrushes, and prostheses design and manufacturing, all delivered via software applications and mobile apps employing machine learning and GAN (generative adversarial network). Additionally, it aims to combat social disconnection among isolated older adults by integrating AI-driven companions, virtual social environments, and telehealth platforms, accessible via both text and voice input, to foster social interaction and health care accessibility. The discussion extends to the potential negative impacts of AI, such as exacerbating loneliness with overreliance on AI-enabled apps. Despite these challenges, the article underscores the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration, user-friendly design, data privacy, and ethical considerations in implementing AI. The article concludes by emphasizing the need for ongoing research, investment in digital literacy programs, and interdisciplinary collaboration among stakeholders to optimize the benefits of AI in geriatric care. Through this integrative approach, AI holds promise for enhancing the quality of life and health outcomes for older adults, ensuring meaningful engagement with communities and health care providers while acknowledging and addressing the potential pitfalls associated with AI technology. Knowledge Transfer Statement: This study explored how artificial intelligence (AI) can revolutionize geriatric care by improving oral health and alleviating social disconnection among isolated older adults. The findings can guide clinicians in integrating AI tools into practices, assist policymakers in developing AI-inclusive health policies, and inform patients about the potential benefits of AI in enhancing their health outcomes and social connection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJDR Clinical and Translational Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • artificial intelligence
  • geriatric dentistry
  • gerontology
  • person centered

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry

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